First versus third at Sophia Gardens this week
It’s back to Championship cricket for the next three weeks and in the second division it is first against third.
In their last game, Nottinghamshire were unable to press home the advantage of making Middlesex follow on, with the Londoners losing just the one wicket in their second innings. Nevertheless, their won five, lost one record maintains Nottinghamshire’s status as favourites to win Division Two. The one loss was to Glamorgan at Trent Bridge, in the second round of matches. Glamorgan’s victory was built on the seam bowling of Michael Hogan, Michael Neser and Timm van der Gugten, with runs from Sam Northeast and the tail. Ben Duckett showed how much he enjoys batting against Glamorgan, racking up 217 runs in the losing cause. Glamorgan will be buoyed by a strong fight back in their last Championship game against Worcestershire, where despite conceding a 132 run first innings deficit, they were able to score 334 runs in the final innings of the game to win by three wickets.
Both sides missed out on Blast quarter final places, so will have had plenty of time to reset for red ball cricket. Nottinghamshire still look the stronger outfit and Glamorgan have lost the services of Marnus Labuschagne since the early season encounter. He has been replaced at number three by Colin Ingram, who has quickly reacquainted himself with red ball cricket, scoring 390 runs in three matches at an average of 65.0, with two centuries. On the bowling front, Glamorgan will be hoping that van der Gugten has recovered from the hamstring injury he suffered at the end of April. The good news for Glamorgan supporters is that he bowled 24 overs in a second team game this week. He would bolster the main bowling threat of Neser and Hogan, who in his last season is still a handful for batters, having taken 25 Championship wickets at 26.2. He was also the top bowler for Glamorgan in the Blast competition with 20 wickets at an economy rate of 8.12, earning him a wildcard selection for the Southern Brave in this year’s Hundred competition.
No one will be surprised to see Nottinghamshire at the top of Division One given the strength of their squad. Duckett is currently their top run scorer in the Championship with 764 at an average of 69.45 and will be sorely missed, having been called up to the England Lions squad who are playing 50-over internationals against South Africa. Steven Mullaney and Haseeb Hameed have also found form with 626 and 545 runs respectively. They have been backed up by a strong bowling attack capable of regularly taking the 20 wickets required for a win. Their two overseas bowlers have been key, South African, Dane Patterson taking 31 wickets at 19.64 and Australian, James Pattinson taking 23. The big bonus has been the success of left arm spinner Liam Patterson-White, who has collected 29 wickets at 23.82.
Despite Glamorgan’s win in April, Nottinghamshire will start as favourites, but Glamorgan have demonstrated that on their day they are capable of causing problems for any side.
Michael Neser has been a wholehearted performer for Glamorgan in both red and white ball cricket this season. His pace is capable of making life uncomfortable for batters and he is their top wicket-taker with 32 at 21.37. He has also scored some handy runs, as demonstrated by his match-winning partnership with Billy Root against Worcestershire and he currently averages 23.5 with the bat. Neser has another year on his contract with Glamorgan, but will be pushing hard for consideration by Australia in next summer’s Ashes campaign.
Liam Patterson-White may not have been a well-recognised name at the start of this season, but the 23-year-old slow left arm bowler has forced himself into the England selectors thoughts, currently being the top spinner in the Championship, with 29 wickets at 23.82. The fact that despite this he does not feature in the Outlaws T20 team, perhaps underlines his credentials as a red ball spinner. A product of the Nottinghamshire youth system he also has the potential to score runs, averaging 31.64 with the bat last season, although he has not been as productive this year. He could be a real threat with the forecast of high temperatures next week.
Chris Cooke has recovered from a calf injury and should take the gloves, although Tom, Cullen is retained in the squad. Van der Gugten returns from injury having played in the second team last week. Skipper David Lloyd picked up a calf injury in the penultimate Blast fixture but is deemed fit. In the Worcestershire game Glamorgan played just the three seamers, with some medium-pace from Lloyd and spin from Andrew Salter and Colin Ingram. That might be risky against the strong Nottinghamshire batting line up, especially if Lloyd is carrying any injury. With Kiran Carlson struggling for runs it maybe that he is replaced by a bowler and that might be Prem Sisodiya, who comes into the squad as an additional spin option.
Glamorgan squad: David Lloyd (c), Eddie Byrom, Kiran Carlson, Chris Cooke (wk), Tom Cullen, James Harris, Michael Hogan, Colin Ingram, Michael Neser, Sam Northeast, Billy Root, Andrew Salter, Prem Sisodiya, Timm van der Gugten
Nottinghamshire have a strong squad to select from and unlike Glamorgan, have the luxury of being able to rotate their seam bowlers. The batting has been churning out runs, with each of the top six averaging over 40 this season. It seems likely that Sol Budinger will replace Ben Duckett, to make his Championship debut, on the back to two half centuries in a second team game this week. There are further key absences with Tom Moores missing out with illness and James Pattinson away due to the impending birth of his child. Matthew Montgomery and Joey Evison come into the squad.
Nottinghamshire squad: Steven Mullaney (c), Sol Budinger, Joe Clarke, Joey Evison, Luke Fletcher, Haseeb Hameed, Calvin Harrison, Brett Hutton, Lyndon James, Matthew Montgomery, Dane Paterson, Liam Patterson-White, Ben Slater
Weather and Conditions
The forecast is for temperatures to rise next week, potentially reaching 28°C during the first two days.
With the Hundred competition taking priority when it comes to pitches it is likely that this game will be played on one over to one side of the square, potentially producing a shorter boundary square boundary. Nottinghamshire will be hoping that the hot weather produce favourable conditions for Patterson-White and we would expect the captain winning the toss to want to bat first.
Date: 11th – 14th July 2022
Ground: Sophia Gardens
Odds (SkyBet): Glamorgan 6/4; Nottinghamshire 1/2